Arkansas Politics

Local & Regional News
6:00 am
Tue March 25, 2014

"Countering The Culture Of Clinton Hating" Lecture To Be Held At Presidential Library

David Brock

A lecture titled “Countering the Culture of Clinton Hating” will be held Tuesday at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock featuring former journalist and author David Brock. He’s founder of a non-profit group called Media Matters for America, which works to counter what he calls conservative misinformation in the media.

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Local & Regional News
1:10 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Gubernatorial Candidate Asa Hutchinson Proposes Workforce Training Changes

File photo of Asa Hutchinson filing to run for governor last month at the state Capitol.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Asa Hutchinson is proposing changing Arkansas' workforce training system, calling for the creation of eight councils around the state that would guide how funding for the programs are distributed.

Hutchinson on Wednesday proposed creating eight Workforce Education Councils to coordinate and expand the state's existing training programs.

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Local & Regional News
6:12 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

In Race For Governor, Hutchinson raises $167K, Ross $140K

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Asa Hutchinson has outraised Democratic rival Mike Ross for the second month in a row but still faces a gap in money on hand in the race for Arkansas' top office.

Hutchinson reported on Monday raising $167,262 in February, compared to the $140,558 Ross raised in the same month.

Monday was the deadline for statewide candidates to file monthly campaign finance reports.

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Local & Regional News
2:58 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Private Option Overshadows GOP Primaries In Arkansas

Arkansas Capitol

The fight over Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion may be over in the Legislature, but it's now spilling over into a number of Republican primaries this spring.

GOP candidates who supported the "private option" plan to use federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for the poor are now facing friendly fire from within the party as they near the May 20 primary. The fight is spilling over into races that have nothing to do with the "private option" or health care, including the primaries for state treasurer and auditor.

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Local & Regional News
11:30 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Bond Broker Takes Stand In Trial of Martha Shoffner

A broker who handled a large share of Arkansas' bond business says he gave the state's former treasurer $6,000 at her Capitol office because she needed help through a rough patch in her life.

Steele Stephens told jurors at Martha Shoffner's bribery and extortion trial Friday that Shoffner's mother had recently died and she had recently lost an apartment and state car.

Stephens said he felt sorry for the former treasurer, and thought giving her money could be good for business.

Shoffner is accused of taking $36,000 from Stephens and directing state business his way.

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Local & Regional News
1:05 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Testimony Begins In Trial Of Former Treasurer Martha Shoffner

File photo of Shoffner and attorney Chuck Banks leaving a court hearing in June 2013.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The first witnesses in the bribery and extortion trial of former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner detailed Thursday how the office would make decisions about the state’s investments and how one broker came to get a disproportionate share of that business.

Shoffner is accused of taking $36,000 from bond broker Steele Stephens, in exchange for steering state business his way.

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Arkansas Legislature
6:00 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Politics And The Private Option: An Analysis With Jay Barth

The private option, Arkansas's alternative answer to the full-out Medicaid expansion prescribed by the federal Affordable Care Act continues to hold up progress on the state budget in this fiscal legislative session.

With the political climate surrounding this most-divisive issue, could a few lawmakers be holding out till after the political filing period to cast their vote for the alternative plan? Political scientist Jay Barth joins us to discuss some of the political aspects of this vote.

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Local & Regional News
2:46 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Senator Mark Pryor Files To Run For Re-Election

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas has filed to run for re-election, setting the stage for one of the most expensive and closely watched Senate races in the country this year.

The Democratic two-term lawmaker filed paperwork at the Capitol on Friday morning to seek a third term.

Pryor was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and won re-election without a Republican challenger in 2008.

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton filed paperwork earlier this week to challenge Pryor and is the only expected GOP candidate for the seat.

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Arkansas General Assembly
8:06 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Discussions Bring Potential Changes To Private Option, Vote Expected Next Week

House Speaker Davy Carter (R, Cabot)
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

State Legislators say they’re getting closer to finding a way to pass funding for Arkansas’s private option. House Leadership have been meeting with opponents and Department of Human Services officials about the possibility of limiting the time period during which people can enroll in the program.

House Speaker Davy Carter said an idea is being floated to create a fixed period of open enrollment in private option health insurance plans. In meetings with opponents and DHS officials, the issue of setting a specific time frame for people to enroll was raised.

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Arkansas General Assembly
3:04 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Bill To Keep Lt. Governor's Seat Vacant Clears Arkansas House

The Arkansas House of Representatives' chamber.

The vacant seat of Arkansas Lieutenant Governor will likely remain that way until next year. On Thursday the state House of Representatives passed SB139, allowing the Governor to not call a special election to fill a vacant Lieutenant Governor’s post if that vacancy occurs less than 10 months from a General Election. The state Senate passed the bill last week and the bill now awaits Governor Mike Beebe’s signature to become law.

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